Saturday, February 23, 2008


Jews hate opera more than all other white religious groups: Below I list the percent of whites from various religions who really dislike opera, according to the General Social Survey. I was surprised to see that a high-status group--Jews--hate it more than anyone, even more than the much less intelligent Southern Baptists:


Percent who dislike opera very much

Jews 34.4

Southern Baptists 32.8

Baptists--unspecified 32.1

Catholics 17.5

United Methodist 13.6

Episcopalian 9.7

No religion 7.8

To be more precise, fewer Jews are neutral on opera since they are also overrepresented among those who really like it (15.6% versus 4.8% for all Americans).

One would expect an elite group to have a particular fondness for this type of music (in a previous post, I showed that the mean IQ of opera fans was higher than for any other genre) so why are Jews so polarized? Would more folks like it, but visions of Hitler enraptured while listening to Ride of the Valkyries ruin it for them?

This reminds me of the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry gets into an argument with another Jew because Larry likes Wagner, but the other guy thinks only a self-hating Jew would listen to that stuff.

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